Buddies, boars and beers. Part 2

A birthdaypresent from Steen’s wife gave us three days of hunting in Slovakia with a mix of regular and driven hunts for wildboar and deer with locals… and a party!

The driven hunt had a great well-organized setup. My first post was on the ground in a large open beech forest with possible shots forward and backward in a well-defined safety angle. The excitement rose quickly when a lot of shots were released by the many during the hunt, but there were no pigs for me, the shooters next to or to Steen. We met and enjoyed the unusually good weather for the season, while the drivers collected the animals, and the dogs got a rest before we moved on.

Hunters waiting for pick up, exchanging experiences from the drive 

From every direction

Second part of the hunt offered better chance. When we were placed, I was glad to see that Steens post looked particularly promising because of a wide shooting angle with a nice view on to a wide deer trail. On the other hand, the tower I was directed to was in sharp contrast to the tower from the day before. It was an old and very narrow shooting tower where the knees touched on the front. It wasn’t wider than the length of my riffle and with rather small windows. In front of the tower, I had the possibility of shooting in a small clearing, as well as openings in the terrain slanted forward to both sides separated by thick bushes. In other words, I needed to react quickly in order to get enough swing in the rifle before the pig was gone in the thick bushes again. There was much more to be aware of at this post as the game and, for that matter, the drivers could come from all directions. The options for movement were not great and it turned out to be the greatest challenge for this post.

The range of motion was not impressive and it turned out to be the biggest challenge for this tower. 

Fast moving targets

Further down the chain of hunters there was a huge amount of shooting activity. The activity slowly moved towards me and suddenly a larger pig crossed through both of my shooting options with a fast course towards safety in the tight bushes. Too quick for me to swing the rifle, but just enough to get a sense of speed before the next one followed the same track. This time, I followed the pig with the rifle for another opening in the bushes and could deliver it with one shot. One shot – one pig – a very good start of this part of the hunt!

It wasn’t quite as easy the next time. To wild boars came right after each other from a slightly more skewed angle, which meant that it was necessary to change “window” in the shooting tower and it ruined the chance of making a proper shot. After this followed a “quiet” period and I just enjoyed the adrenaline that surges through the body when you are ready for action. Suddenly I heard a noise down the hill to the right. I tried to twist around to shoot from my left shoulder but cannot turn far enough. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see a beautiful, bright red fox coming out of the woods and looking straight at me just 20 meters, disappearing before I could shoot. The rest of the hunt it bothered me the more than the two pigs. Fox on a driven hunt is something quite special. Steen had had the opportunity to shoot on a single wild boar, but in an unfortunate angle without bullet stop.

The dilemma of tourism

More than once during and after the hunt I felt like catching the atmosphere and the hunting experience on camera, but I was walking the line between being a guest and a hunting tourist and it wasn’t always appropriate. As an example, I didn’t get a picture of the boar I shut, because the drivers collected it as one of many and placed them all together for the parade and after that they were quickly refrigerated.

After the good and long drive, it was finally lunch time and we bumped back through the small roads of the forest in the big trucks. Well back at the sheep farm we were received with a delicious traditional Slovak lunch with cooked sausages, delicate wild boar soup and lots of white bread, followed by coffee and homemade schnapps.

The attack

During lunch there were recounting of the hunting situations. One of the dogs was attacked by a wild boar. The beater tried to save the dog, but the wild boar hit the driver and tore his pants and part of his lower leg with his long canines. While man and pig were fighting on the ground, the driver fortunately got his feet under the pig and kicked it, after which he could shoot the big keiler of about 160 kg before it attacked again.

Heartfelt company

After the hunt a surprise-birthday party was announced, with abundant amounts of fantastic food, good Slovak wine and more brandy. Steen and I tried to stick to beer attempting to stay in control of what the locals would remember us for, but the beer mugs were removed with a humorous comment that it was “Slovakian water” and then replaced with shot glass with homemade liquor. I do not think I have ever been to a party with a more heartfelt atmosphere, with so much laughter – often on the verge of cramps. The feast offered among other things a single food fight (!), traditional folk music and people singing shoulder by shoulder, which we joined in the end of the night to great fun for everyone.

At some point, the local chief of police insisted in an intense way that I should have his silver and a feather decorated hunting hat. I never really understood what it was all about, but it actually became my only physical trophy from the trip.



We ended up among the few being relatively sober, but because we weren’t the first to leave the festivities, we also ended up spending the night in the car as all the beds back at the sheep farm were taken. However, we were the only ones ready for a beautiful morning hunt.

Around noon, Martin, Lars, Steen and I drove back to the mountain area in central Slovakia for the last wild boar hunt and back in the forest covered mountains, we were placed in the shooting towers. The hours went and I had plenty of time and silence to digest the many impressions from the past days. Suddenly I heard a shot in the distance and hoped that it was coming from Steen.

They picked me up soon after nightfall and the big smile on Steen’s face revealed that he finally succeeded! They marked the bloodspot, and we came back and complete the search, while Martin was watching out for us with a loaded riffle in case that the boar was wounded and not dead or if a bear had caught the scent of fee meat. We found a fine 130 kg keiler, dragged the beast to the car, drove it back to “unzip it” before we were heading back to Denmark.


The entire package

The seed to this tour started with a nice conversation at the IWA fair in Nürnberg and a few chats on Facebook that led to the first hunt that turned into more new friendships, that again opened the door to another trip with room for an old friend as well. So, what was the best thing about the trip? In Steen’s words: “It was the entire package!” And he is right! The hunt, the authentic experience, meeting new people and getting insight into hunting cultures of other countries draw me again and again.

And I’m definitely not done with Slovakia!

Other new relations have brought me on hunts in Sweden, Belgium and Spain. If you dare travel without security from the travel guarantee foundation and remember that “A stranger is just a friend, you have not met yet” I might just lead to great adventures.


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